John Braconnier, President of Trans tech Transmission
Totally, it’s turned mechanics in to technicians.
People simply don’t realize that the mechanic is gone now – replaced by the technician. In the past the mechanic needed to be familiar with only 10-15 different styles of transmissions from a few North American manufacturers.
Overhauling was a matter of replacing worn or damaged parts. Like building a puzzle, the mechanic had a clear idea of the finished picture, so we would knowhow one part related to the other. Now the technician is exposed to 50 or more different types of power train units, and the newest ones are governed by an in-system computer or electronic signals.
This means that it’s a much more complex job to trace problems. The relationship between the computer and the part has to be understood as part of the overhaul. Adapting to these technological changes has required training. Belonging to specialty trade associations has helped us gather information to educate our technicians through seminars; but there is nothing better than the hands-on experience that will cement the seminar theory.
This all adds up to produce a skilled professional individual who can efficiently and effectively deal with the diagnosis and repair of the power train in a new vehicle. The rapid change in the nature of the industry (requiring a cross-over of skills) has made the field less attractive to young people.